GREENVILLE CITY COUNCIL PASSES UTILITIES TAX
The 2012-2013 budget was the main item of business at the Greenville City Council meeting Tuesday night. City Manager Dave Willey reviewed city expenditures for street projects, public works vehicles, equipment, storm sewers, and other capital expenditures, totaling more than $1.8 million since 2007.
Willey then reviewed ways the city has decreased expenses, improved efficiency, and improved revenue streams. It was clear efforts were not sufficient and the council unanimously approved a utility tax on gas and electric use.
The new tax will increase gas rates by 5% and electric rates by a sliding rate scale based on usage. The effect of the utility tax may be seen as early as this August. Another way the council discussed increasing revenue was through a sales tax increase which required a referendum. Revenue improvement from a sales tax increase would not have been seen until Spring 2014. There was some public comment at the meeting regarding high taxes and the need to cut services. The council approved the 2012-2013 budget as presented, with minor modifications.
The council addressed changes to state law regarding video gaming and tabled the discussion pending more information. They also tabled several changes proposed to the liquor ordinance, allowing more time to better understand the proposed changes.
The council announced the automatic consumer price index water and sewer rate adjustment means a 2.1% increase in rates.
CEREMONY AT FCI
There was a ceremony Tuesday, May 8, at 2:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the Greenville Federal Correctional Institution to kick off National Correctional Officers’ Week, May 7-11. The ceremony focused on the day-to-day hurdles overcome by correctional officers and the many people who have lost their lives working as correctional officers. 24 individuals were recognized at the ceremony who died in the line of duty from the early 1900’s to 2008.
Warden Jim Cross spoke about the importance of the work they do, calling it "hero’s work." He noted that not only are they charged with keeping the community safe from those who might do them harm, but they must also attempt to rehabilitate those who are incarcerated in their facility. Greenville Police Chief Lou Lorton read a poem. One line of the poem read, “Remembering you is easy, we do it every day. It’s the heartache of losing you that will never go away.”
Warden Jim Cross speaking to the crowd at the ceremony.
2 ACRES MOTEL SIGN SAVED
A group of people came together to save the iconic 2 Acres Motel sign in Greenville. Sherry told WGEL the sign is located on Route 127 along Route 40 and was in danger of being torn down. Sherry’s first action, when she heard about the sign, was to send a crew out to inspect it and see how hard it would be to take down. They discovered the sign came down in panels and was easier to disassemble than they had previously thought. Currently, the sign is in storage until a proper home is found. Sherry said she would love to see the sign displayed as it is a great piece of Greenville history.